Napoli preserved their ambition in qualifying to the second round of Champions League after picking up an important 2-0 victory against Villarreal, a win which not only legitimate their runner up spot in group A but also served as a sweet revenge for the Partenopei.
Goals from Marek Hamsik and Edinson Cavani, were more than enough to gift wrapped the club’s fans enthusiasm at San Paolo as the Southern Italian side picked up their first win in this season’s competition.
Playing in front of a full packed San Paolo, the excellent atmosphere simply stunned Villarreal, as it only took the home team 15 minutes to get into the score sheet after Hamsik was left unmarked in the back post and easily fired his shot pass Villarreal’s keeper, Diego Lopez. Things got worse for the visitor, two minutes later as Cavani doubled Napoli’s lead after successfully converting the spot kick which was earned by Ezequiel Lavezzi’s individual effort in the penalty area that got hacked down by Gonzalo Rodriguez.
Going two goals down didn’t immediately crumble Villarreal as they managed to make the match becoming a much more balanced affair after Cavani’s goal, creating goal scoring chances from the likes of Giuseppe Rossi and Nilmar. The second half saw the Yellow Submarine were working hard to get something out of their second Champions League match as another defeat obviously isn’t good for the Spain based outfit as they were also defeated in the first match against Bayern Munich.
Unfortunately for the visitor, as they started to pour forward even more, things just got tougher as it pretty much suits Napoli’s counter attacking strategy as the home team continues to cause havoc on Villarreal’s defense. Nothing much happened in the second period as both teams didn’t managed to take their chances allowing the match to end with a pretty convincing 2-0 victory for the Partenopei, an obviously significant preparation for the Southern Italian side before hosting the group leader, Bayern Munich.
Napoli’s joy over acquiring the three point in the Champions League was interrupted a bit with Cavani’s injury problem, which arrived in the last 15 minutes of the match, forcing the player limping out of the pitch and being replaced by Goran Pandev. The Uruguayan international’s condition is set to be examined soon and the fans are obviously hoping that the player didn’t picked up any troubling issues considering this weekend the Partenopei will have to face a tough challenge against Inter Milan in Serie A.
Napoli v Villarreal 2-0
Goals: Hamsik 15, Cavani pen 17 (Napoli)
Napoli: De Sanctis; Campagnaro, Cannavaro, Aronica; Zuniga, Inler, Gargano, Dossena; Hamsik (Mascara 79), Lavezzi (Santana 88); Cavani (Pandev 71)
Villarreal: Diego Lopez; Zapata, Musacchio, Gonzalo Rodriguez (Camunas 32), Català; Cani, Senna (Mubarak 84), Bruno Soriano, De Guzman (Perez 84); Rossi; Nilmar